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Cold Vengeance (Special Agent Pendergast) Hardcover – August 2, 2011


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Product Details

  • Series: Special Agent Pendergast
  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing; First Edition edition (August 2, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446554987
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446554985
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.2 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (433 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #208,260 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

The pace of this entry in the increasingly popular Preston & Child series is more steady than usual, but the authors willingness to take their time ultimately pays dividends in terms of texture. GOOD BOOK GUIDE --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

The thrillers of Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child "stand head and shoulders above their rivals" (Publishers Weekly). Preston and Child's Relic and The Cabinet of Curiosities were chosen by readers in a National Public Radio poll as being among the one hundred greatest thrillers ever written, and Relic was made into a number-one box office hit movie. They are coauthors of the famed Pendergast series and their recent novels include Fever Dream, Cold Vengeance, Two Graves, and Gideon's Corpse. Preston's acclaimed nonfiction book, The Monster of Florence, is being made into a movie starring George Clooney. Lincoln Child is a former book editor who has published five novels of his own, including the huge bestseller Deep Storm.
Readers can sign up for The Pendergast File, a monthly "strangely entertaining note" from the authors, at their website, www.PrestonChild.com. The authors welcome visitors to their alarmingly active Facebook page, where they post regularly.

More About the Author

Douglas Preston, who worked for several years in the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, is the author of the acclaimed nonfiction works Dinosaurs in the Attic and Cities of Gold, and the novel, Jennie. He lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

223 of 235 people found the following review helpful By Susan Tunis TOP 500 REVIEWER on August 2, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child have been writing tales of Special Agent Aloysius X. L. Pendergast since 1995's Relic. And I have been a mostly loyal fan in the years since. But I might as well admit that Pendergast and I engaged in a trial separation these past few years. However, I just read Fever Dream and I remembered why I had stuck with him for more than a decade. You don't just toss a relationship like that away.

And I'm hooked again. Cold Vengeance is book two in the Helen Pendergast Trilogy, in which the special agent is hunting the reason for and the identity of his wife's murderers. It begins just a few weeks after the events of Fever Dream. In brief, the novel is a deliciously drawn out cat and mouse game between Pendergast and the only opponent left standing in the last novel. As this pursuit unfolds, Pendergast comes to realize, "that he truly had not known his beloved wife. Like so many other fallible human beings, he had been blinded by love. He had not even begun to crack the ultimate mystery of her identity."

But he does make progress in that ultimate mystery--with the help of more than a few characters we've met in prior novels. Who was Helen Pendergast, and what was her family connected to? At one point, Pendergast's opponent challenges, "You think your fight's just with me, but you're wrong... The fact is you have no idea, no idea, of what you're dealing with."

By the end of the book, both Pendergast and the reader will have an inkling, but there's much yet to be uncovered. Preston and Child are masterful at building suspense, and the end of this novel will be the start of a torturous wait for the final volume in the trilogy. The book ends on more than one huge cliff-hanger.
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115 of 123 people found the following review helpful By kacunnin TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 2, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
These days, it seems every novel published is part of a trilogy. Preston & Child's latest novel, COLD VENGENCE, is the second installment in their latest Pendergast trilogy, focusing on the enigmatic FBI agent's attempt to get to the bottom of his wife's supposed death twelve years earlier. In many ways, COLD VENGENCE is more successful than the first book in the series, FEVER DREAM, probably because the plot is smaller and more limited in focus. Most of the novel is concentrated squarely on Pendergast's efforts to discover the truth about his wife, Helen - he follows leads in Scotland, New York City, and various Louisiana locations, while trying to keep a step ahead of Helen's shifty brother, Judson Esterhazy. The opening chapters, in which Pendergast and Esterhazy are hunting in the Scottish quagmires, are extraordinarily gripping and set the stage for the relationship to come between these two men. Pendergast wants to know the truth about Helen; Esterhazy wants desperately to keep that truth secret.

Fans of Preston & Child will find references here to D'Agosta and Hayward (although very briefly - neither play major roles in the novel), a brief mention of Smithback and Nora Kelly (through a three-year-old newspaper article), as well as the reappearance of Corrie Swanson (first seen in STILL LIFE WITH CROWS). Preston & Child often interweave characters from one book to another, creating a well fleshed-out world that is recognizable and theirs alone. It makes for very satisfying reading for those of us who know these writers well.

While I did enjoy reading COLD VENGENCE, I was also disappointed in a few things. First, the novel is pretty much all Pendergast, which can verge a bit on overkill.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By TMStyles VINE VOICE on August 8, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I also have read all the Agent Pendergast novels and felt that last year's "Fever Dream" was a rekindling of the true Pendergast character and spirit. Unfortunately, "Cold Vengeance", the sequel to "Fever Dream", regresses the series toward mediocrity once again. I am never happy after purchasing what I anticipate to be a great read and discovering it is the forerunner of a sequel or worse, a trilogy. Occasionally, a writer can pull off a trilogy but really, can't authors, for the most part, complete a story in two volumes, almost 800 pages? When does the story demand a second or third book and when does it cross over into the "let's-string-out-our-readers-with-another- cliffhanger-so-we-can-presell-our-next-book" arena? That is the question readers face after reading 764 pages in the first two novels only to find they must wade through another 350-400 pages to achieve resolution and closure.

"Cold Vengeance" IS entertaining despite its weaknesses. Even when frustrating their loyal readers, Preston and Child, often do keep them on the edge of their seats with tension and suspense (although a lot is also telegraphed in this effort). Pendergast is still on the trail of the killer(s) of his beloved wife, Helen, and "Cold Vengeance" picks up the thread of a deadly cat-and-mouse game between Pendergast and his brother-in-law, Judson Esterhazy. Although believing that vengeance is mine, Pendergast's best efforts at exacting revenge are foiled by hard-to-swallow coincidences and timing issues that thwart all his brilliant planning, analytical abilities and instinctive revelations. The inexplicable coincidences that continually save Esterhazy reek of author contrivance to move the story along, albeit, at Pendergast's expense.
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